Tales from an Army Wife: First Deployment
“Deployment: Life After the Final Goodbye”
Yeah, yeah. This sounds a lot like the episode of The Bachelor, “After the Final Rose.” I know, I get it. But if you think about it, these things are actually quite similar. Each one ends with a dramatic display of tears and emotion, but we all know that life has to begin and continue after that show of either disappointment or joy. The drama is over, he’s where he’s going to be for a year. So….here we are…..almost 3 weeks in. I have many incidents to highlight that have already happened, and given my previous, rather psychotic posts, surprisingly, many of the incidents are normal and quite funny. These will come later. And, I promise, you won’t cry.
I must say, my aforementioned friend, and savior during the first few days alone, Maggie Brown, was, of course and always…..right. The leading up to, was the hardest. The moment he walked away from us, was definitely a close second. But, now, we’re here, he and I talk on a semi-regular basis, the baby is okay, the dog is still depressed, and life is marching on. We’ve established our routine, now intermingled with the preparations for Christmas and my obsessive exercise due to his leave time in March, but we are functioning quite well.
They always say that things tend to happen at the most inconvenient times. “God having a sense of humor,” and all that stuff. Today was a particularly tough day in that way…..I planned on feeling sad and lonely without my husband. I planned on missing him terribly and looking at things in our home that we made or typically did together and pining for him. Those things have happened, somewhat. What I didn’t plan on was the incredible frustration that I feel. Today, we could have possibly gotten on Skype and actually looked at each other for the first time. I couldn’t get out of the dentist in time, then he was going to bed (9 and a half hour time difference, mind you), then my friend who was babysitting for me offered to let me use her computer when I got there, then his internet was down. Oh! The up and down of emotions! The “will we or won’t we” feelings! At one point during this exchange, I found myself sitting in the post office parking lot, crying. Finding a man you’d do absolutely anything for, is one thing. Actually allowing yourself to feel the roller coaster of expectations from him when he is on the opposite side of the globe is quite another. Now, keep in mind, this story puts no fault towards him, albeit he probably appears to be a source of my frustration. He has his own issues and things to deal with over there. It just so happens that I love this man, he’s gone for a solid year, and when my emotions get pushed and pulled to the edge….I pull over at the post office, thinking I’m going in to mail something and then sit in the car…..and cry.
After picking up my rather fussy daughter and heading home. I set about getting things done and trying to lift my mood. The weather was stormy here, so it was a good day to stay in, and accomplish things like cleaning, laundry, decorating…etc. I believe it was the movie St. Elmo’s Fire that this quote came from…”There is the brink of insanity, and then…there is the abyss…..which, obviously you’ve fallen into.” Yeah……….then it came…..
Washing, lunch…putting the baby down for a nap….I kept getting a slight whiff of something that smelled like one had pooped in a rubber tire. I would walk by closets and casually search. I checked the trashcan a couple of times. I even went through the toybox…just in case. Hmmmmm! Who knows? The baby soon woke, and was ready for her usual snack of yogurt. We began the snack process, which was interrupted by the FedEx man ringing our doorbell. I quickly ran to deactivate our alarm system before opening the door to receive my package. This abrupt movement didn’t sit well with my daughter, as she began to cry…and scream…and cry…and scream….and then just scream. I offered her some more yogurt, but it was too late. Because of my swift movement to the door to retrieve a package, her world had just gone up in flames. She screamed so much, I tried the old “time out” thing and put her in her crib for 2 minutes. Boy, was that fortuitous! As I returned to the living room, I discovered the source of the rubber/poop smell……My 70 pound German Shepherd felt it necessary to deposit a large, juicy pile of poop on the carpet, on the other side of the chair…the one place I didn’t think to look. My baby continued to scream from her crib, and I knew, at that moment, there was no way in hell she was coming out while I strategized the best way to dispose of, and remove the stain of…..deployment dog poop. As Sasha lay, looking ever depressed, I pinched up in paper towels, then sprayed Woolite carpet cleaner and scrubbed…and scrubbed. And, guess what…..baby still screaming. I perservered, though. When I was satisfied with the carpet, I went to check on said, extremely angry baby. She was whimpering a bit, and her crib looked a bit like she’d spit up…..hey, laundry in process, no problem. I picked her up from her crib and brought her to the living room to play. I turned my back to go into the kitchen and then I saw her…..she had thrown up on the carpet. Wow……should I just do something on the carpet, too? I mean, everyone else in this house has deposited on it!!! Disgustingly, Sasha runs over and cleans up her “little sister’s” vomit, and I ran to get the Woolite again. I guess continual crying over a long period of time results in vomit.
You think this is the end, right? Oh no……Once everyone is calm again, I continue my quest for scrubbing the kitchen. It has begun to rain hard now. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Sasha, at the scene of her first crime, crouched. I immediately grab her by the collar, disable the alarm, and open the front door, demanding her to “Go potty” outside. Obviously, there was more to do for her…..She walked around the front yard, squinting in the rain, while I stood on the porch yelling and clapping for her to make her latest deposit outside. Meanwhile, a still sniveling baby is standing at the sidelight, looking out at us crying. Finally, Sasha gives up, so I open the door. Unbeknownst to me, the baby has her finger in between the door, so when I open it, her finger gets squished. Well, that sent her over the edge….to the abyss, rather. Screaming, we run to the kitchen for some ice, then break out something with Dora the Explorer’s picture on it and life becomes okay for her again. Sheesh! I later discovered Sasha had run over to the same spot again, and made a smaller, but second deposit on my carpet…Woolite!
I just got my evening phone call from my husband. It’s morning there, and he’s busy, so this one is typically 7 minutes. Tonight, I got 4 minutes and 59 seconds, with a promise to attempt Skype again tomorrow. Elizabeth is sleeping now. And, as I watch Sasha pace back and forth, checking on her ‘baby sister,’ I pop in to check on her, too. She’s spit out her pacifier and I look at her whole face. She looks so much like her Daddy. I want to call him right now and tell him that, hands down, we made the most beautiful baby in the world.